killer bacon-cheese dogs
I generally dread checking my email, although it is also a compulsion of mine. I will go “off” email for several days, then check it every five minutes for the week following, afraid that I will “miss” something. The world is a much calmer, palatable, sensical place when I do not check my email.
Tonight I slipped, and was richly rewarded for it: an email from Allrecipes.com, with the subject “Killer Bacon-Cheese Dogs”.
At the moment, and for the forseeable future, my partner and I are separated. This is distinct from a break up: break ups are final, or quickly sealed over and reversed by hot, tearful post-break up sex. Separations are what grown ups have, grown ups with children and too many goddamn cats and a wedding anniversary, even if it’s not a legally recognized one. A separation of course holds potential for a divorce, which can take your typical garden break up- even one conducted by instant message- and make it seem like a kindergarten mediation over a broken crayon. The separation is the considerate, thoughtful pause, a threshold, a turning point, before things get hella better or hella worse.
Usually when I go through break ups, I fuck old friends and fast; I lose a lot of weight this way. But this isn’t a break up; it’s a trial separation, an attempt to nurture and improve a relationship still beloved but currently fraught.
I’ve never been separated before. Apparently what I do in this situation is eat cake and smoke. A new precedent: break up? Fuck old friend and fast. Therapeutic trial separation? Cake and cigarettes.
This of course makes me gain weight. I happened to gain the weight that I currently carry as a response to the rape- 30 lbs of sad fat, as I call it. I loathe my sad fat. I can’t reframe it as beautiful or special or some innate expression of me. I see my gut, my stretch marks, my rolls, and I see violence, fear, failure, and betrayal. Besides my scarred tympanum and tinnitus, the fat on my body is the burden I carry that reminds me, physically, heavily, that I am unworthy of love, health, safety, support, witnessing, and protection.
The post-T uterine lashback means that my body holds to this fat of its own volition. Mentally, I think, I also hold to this fat- I’m afraid to be skinny again. When I was skinny, people wanted to fuck me. When people wanted to fuck me, I got raped. Then I got fat and no one wanted to fuck me and the isolation widened with my hips and thighs, but at least I knew, I wasn’t fooled, I was safe.
Cake now is of course all wrapped up in this struggle around fat. Eat cake, get fatter, be sadder. But sad, so cake. Then I smoke.
So the email I got from Allrecipes, it said KILLER BACON-CHEESE DOGS, just that.
My heart leapt with a complex urge of guilt and desire, like I’d been caught wanting a bacon cheese dog, like the bacon cheese dog was gonna kill me, like I was gonna get killed for wanting it. Bacon-cheese dog: pleasure and annihilation, the ambrosia of the recently separated. Best followed with cake and a three dollar bottle of Lucky Duck wine from Walmart.
I laughed, nearly cried. The internal confession started spooling in my brain as I sat stunned in the glow of my monochromatic Gmail theme: Yes I got sad and ate cake! Alone! I ate hot dogs! Frozen pizza! Chips! Not even organic ones- Sun chips! From Walmart! I go to Walmart almost every day- it is nearby and I can be around people and still be alone and the lights are brighter than it ever is outside and I am sure to never run into someone that I know, because all of my friends are too conscientious to eat frozen pizza and ice cream cake from Walmart.
Walmart is a place to wander, to want, to search and accrue for a home that I avoid to instead anonymously commune with the fellow dissatisfied and poor, together anxious and eye-shot, exposed like a Jerry Springer show in the lights and security cameras, parenthesized in labyrinthine aisles of cheap bright crap and suffering.
Fuck all those wholesome fuckers down at the Farmer’s Market.
KILLER BACON-CHEESE DOGS!
Did you know that Walmart sells liquor now?